The Economic Opportunities Program is excited to announce plans to develop and lead Workforce Leadership Academies in four communities over the next two years in partnership with local organizations. These new Academies will build the professional skills and networks of workforce development professionals and provide a forum for local leaders to work collaboratively to identify common challenges and create shared solutions.
This series of new Academies is funded through grants from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
“We need strong leaders who can work effectively with businesses, workers and job seekers to get more people into quality jobs,” said Sheila Maguire, Senior Fellow at the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. “The Academies provide a rare opportunity to invest in these leaders and bring the workforce development system’s stakeholders together to reflect on challenges and share strategies to address them.”
The new Academies are the latest in a series hosted in communities such as Hartford, Baltimore, Toronto, Detroit, and Seattle. Each Academy will bring together up to 25 professionals as Fellows in a series of retreats and workshops over the course of a year, teaching them new tools and helping them collaborate on challenges in their community. Fellows are selected from leaders in nonprofit organizations, business associations, community colleges and universities, union-based training efforts, and public agencies.
The local Workforce Leadership Academies network grew out of the Sector Skills Academy, which was launched in 2005. Combined, both boast over 300 alumni nationwide. Participants in both have indicated that the Academies prepared them to effect meaningful change in their communities. Fellows are also part of the Economic Opportunity Fellows Network.
“Workforce development programs are a key tool for helping people develop the skills they need to compete for today’s jobs, and when done well can transform lives and strengthen economies,” said Jennie Sparandara, Head of Workforce Initiatives, JPMorgan Chase. “JPMorgan Chase is proud to support the Workforce Leadership Academies to help build more productive skill-building programs across the country.”
“Employment provides the best opportunity for personal success and financial security,” said Marci Hunn, Program Director at The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. “Successful workforce strategies are complex and their effectiveness is dependent upon organizations with capable leadership. We look forward to supporting this continued work.”
The first Academy in this series will be in Chicago, in partnership with the Chicago Jobs Council and the Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance, and will launch in early 2019. Additional Academies are in development and will be announced in the coming year.
More information on the Workforce Leadership Academies, previous cohorts, and Fellows can be found here.
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Tweet “Workforce development programs are a key tool for helping people develop the skills they need to compete for today’s jobs, and when done well can transform lives and strengthen economies.” -Jennie Sparandara @jpmorgan
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